... shots in subcutaneous fat. Seriously. At least these weren't in my stomach like the weekly chemotherapy shot of Velcade, but still. Two full syringes of Neupogen in your arm is a shitty breakfast.
So we've been here a little over a week now. I've had a bunch of meetings with planners, coordinators and doctors and had several tests done including an echocardiagram, an electrocardiagram, a full panoramic xray of my jaw, a full body skeletal survey (20ish xray shots), a host of lung tests, tons of labwork, etc. Beyond making sure I'm healthy enough to do the transplant, a lot of these tests are to find a baseline so that if something goes south they have a "normal" to compare things to.
All of that was a precursor to this week, where I start getting Neupogen shots to increase stem cell production and pop them out of my bone marrow for collection starting later this week.
I linked the Neupogen website in that last paragraph just for humor's sake. Stock photos are one of those idiotic things in life I tend not to spend too much time on, but seriously -- having spent almost half a year going to infusion centers I can sincerely tell you that NOBODY there has ever had that "Yay, chemotherapy!" face from the pictures on that website when I've been there.
So far things are OK, I guess. Although expensive I believe I made the right decision to rent this villa for a few months. It's quiet here, and peaceful, and bright but not in an obnoxious way. Ariana seems to have adjusted, although I think she'd be happy in a shack as long as I could pull up the Bubble Guppies on Amazon Prime Video. The shopping is amazing in this area and everything's very convenient. The weather is great too -- it's been so long since I lived in California that I forget what it's like when it's just perfect every day, but you can see why people come here during the winter.
I finally got my In-N-Out burger too, a double double. It was heavenly. I bought a commemorative t-shirt to remind me of how good it was, in fact. I forgot, however, half the secret menu stuff so I just ordered off the menu like a tourist. Ah well. I know that's not exactly the first line item on the anti-cancer diet but my diet is super restrictive for 100 days after my transplant so I have to get in the bad stuff now. That's my excuse, anyways. And if people continue to bitch after that I can bust out the BUT I HAVE CANCER card.
A little uncomfortable guilt never hurts when an In-N-Out burger is being questioned by health Nazis.
Mentally and emotionally ... I'm OK. I mean I'm freaked out, but as I've mentioned before here when you're out of choices the mental state doesn't really matter, does it? I'm so young compared to everyone else here, and that's been difficult. One doctor, an ENT guy I saw Monday morning, even said the dreaded "you're too young for this" line. He was cool and we were having a good chat so I didn't mind, but that constantly occurs to me here in the land of Where Wealthy White People Come to Die That Hate Florida.
I wonder what the elderly patients think, seeing me here. I would imagine a mix of empathy and thankfulness (that they didn't get myeloma sooner). I feel empathy and jealousy (that I didn't get myeloma much later), so that's probably close.
People have been coming out of the woodwork in my life lately, and that's been appreciated although difficult to deal with. As an introvert who's only regular public interaction was either protected by the anonymity of writing or the expertise of being a professional (diving, portfolio management) this is a new sensation and experience and not one I feel like I know how to handle. Perhaps nobody does? I'm sure there's a whole barrel of monkey's worth of discussion there about how this is deeply rooted in some inability of mine to deal with people caring about me or similar.
Weird, the things you come up with and/or realize when you are just typing your thoughts.
I'm waiting while Amy gets ready to go, procrastinating fighting Ariana to get her clothed while she watches some edutainment garbage called Super Why, to go to Over Easy North. Found this place last week while trying to find a good place for breakfast and noticed it was on Triple D. As much as I hate the host of that show I have to admit he showcases some rocking places to eat, and today, with this Neupogen flowing through my arm like an undesired reality, I feel the need for some serious fucking breakfast.